Opportunities Abound as Business Booms in Qatar

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It may be tiny in terms of land mass but business is booming in the peninsular Gulf state of Qatar, one of the richest countries in the world.

And despite the long drawn-out controversy over playing football matches in searing summer temperatures, the citizens of Qatar continue to look forward eagerly to the staging of the 2022 World Cup in their country.

Lately there’s been lots of talk about moving the competition from summer to winter, or to play all games in the evening, with kick-off times at 7pm, 10pm and 1am being suggested. It’s a controversy that’s set to run and run.

Infrastructure spending

However, it’s not just the World Cup which is focussing minds. For the nation is set to spend as much as $205 billion on infrastructure by the end of 2018, prioritising sectors such as housing, transport infrastructure, power, and water and sewage facilities.

The economic opportunities generated by this investment boom – for local banks, regional and international banks – will be under scrutiny at the two-day Euromoney Qatar Conference to be held towards the end of November.

Ambitious growth programme

In a special session at the event, called “Understanding the Next Phase of the Qatari Economic Story,” senior banking figures from Qatar and international finance experts will look at Qatar’s requirements for the coming years, and ask how the nation will continue to fund its ambitious growth programme.

While government spending has provided the foundation for infrastructure investment in recent years, there are growing opportunities for regional and international lenders to play a role in funding, particularly through sharia-compliant financing mechanisms.

With support from major sponsors including supporting body Qatar Financial Markets Authority (QFMA) and senior lead sponsor Qatar National Bank, the event is set to provide an important insight for finance leaders looking to understand the future development path of one of the world’s fastest-growing economies.

For local and regional banking executives, it will provide an important opportunity to network with globally-recognised banking giants.

Dynamic investment hub

Euromoney Conferences regional director Richard Banks said, “The Euromoney Qatar Conference 2014 has grown in size because of the calibre of the speakers, and also because of the intense interest in Qatar as a dynamic investment hub. Given the significant changes that Qatar has witnessed in recent months, combined with the rising international attention it has received, we believe this year’s event has the potential to be the most interesting to date.”

The Conference will be addressed by H.E. Ali Sharif Al Emadi, Minister of Finance, State of Qatar, and H.E. Sheikh Abdullah Bin Saud Al Thani, Governor, Qatar Central Bank.

“Global finance: re-launched” is being co-hosted by Qatar Central Bank. Other sponsors include co-sponsor Jersey Finance, associate sponsors Masraf Al Rayan and Qatar First Bank, and exhibitors include Qatar Finance and Business Academy and Qatar Financial Centre Authority.

Leading organiser

Euromoney Conferences is the leading organiser of financial events in both developed and developing markets. It runs large-scale events in the major financial capitals of the world and in selected Middle Eastern countries, notably Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Kuwait and now Qatar. Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC was founded in 1969, and is listed on the London Stock Exchange with a market capitalisation in excess of $1 billion. Check out their website here.

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